Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) is a fantastic place to gawk at
many things - exotic or new foods from lands near and far; powerhouse equipment
for those in the business of feeding the masses; and business deals that lead
to big breaks for some. It’s such a huge event covering all 10 halls of the
Singapore EXPO (plus annexes) that it can be easy to miss interesting stuff.
Here are a few things we caught this year:
Halal Gourmet Beef
Products from Indoguna
Indoguna brought in exquisite treats from its Dubai arm which
produces halal meat products. Wagyu beef bresaola, wagyu beef pastrami, corned
beef brisket, venison hunter ham, farmers biltong, veal chorizo and pepperoni -
it’s not often we encounter halal versions of these. But we’ll start seeing
more of these in Singapore as soon as they receive AVA clearance.
Moonfish from Lee
This rare deep-sea pelagic fish might not look it, but is a
speed demon in the sea. Weighing anything from 10-60kg, it’s about the size of
a manhole cover. The moonfish or opah is often a by-catch of tuna. The flesh is
light orange tasting like a cross between tuna and salmon, while the area near
the pectoral muscles resemble beef. Recent research has shown this mysterious
fish might be a complex of five different species, and that it’s the first
warm-blooded fish we know.
Hot Sauces from
Now Kiwis might not be the first folks you think of when you
say hot sauce, but New Zealand’s largest hot sauce manufacturer Culley’s has
won no less than 30 major awards internationally for their range of sauces. The
“Chipotle” is luxuriously smoky while their “No.1” combines Habanero, Yellow
Scotch Bonnet and Bhut Jolokia chillis in an addictively stinging blend. They
aren’t available in Singapore just yet, but you can hop on to their website (http://culleys.co.nz)
to grab some.
Coconut & Chia
Snack Pots from The New Zealand Dessert Company
These humble looking pots will surprise you with how
insanely delicious they are. You get the health boost of chia seeds fully
soaked in lightly sweetened coconut cream that has prebiotics and omega 3
benefits. It’s a dairy-free alternative to yoghurt but even those who aren’t
lactose intolerant will love this. Flavours include Mango and Passionfruit; Rhubarb;
Cacao with Berries. These will be available in Singapore in May.
Chicken Salami Snacks
These bite-size salami snacks from Germany are ready to eat
straight from the pack. They are all about snacking with good conscience. ChickUps
uses corn-fed chickens that are given space and time to grow with no
antibiotics. They co-operate with 20 local farmers to ensure short transit time
for the animals. The products are gluten-free and lactose-free (except the one
with the Parmesan flavour).
Chef’s Finest Mee
Soto paste by Foodfare
We’ve seen a million pastes for curry, laksa, mee rebus and
mee siam. A paste for mee soto is something few have attempted. This version is
fairly decent, only needing the spicy kick which their spicy kicap manis (sold
separately) provides. Foodfare claims to have sought the recipe from Indonesia
by tasting various mee soto there. Authenticity was important; they are
replicating the flavour and even the slightly sandy texture of the broth to the
closest possible. It should be out on the market soon at S$3 or less per pack
Coconut Wraps from
The Philippines pavilion brought in a wealth of organic
products, fruits and vegetables. Among these, the Coconut Wraps stood out. Oh
my, the things you could do with these! Sweet or savoury wraps, crepes,
sandwiches, sushi rolls, tortillas - I want a laksa spring roll using this
coconut wrap or how about a deep fried kaya lumpia with these coconutty skins.
Made purely from organic coconut, this is naturally raw, gluten-free,
corn-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
products from Monde Nu Agri
These may not look revolutionary but they do have a story.
Monde Nu Agri was specifically set up in 2014 by Monde Nissin to help
rehabilitate the Samar and Leyte regions devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In a
country where aid is slow or sometimes gets lost, this means a lot to the
20,000 farmers and 40,000 hectares of devastated coconut land in the area. The
technology and equipment used to manufacture the coconut products are also
proudly Filipino, not imported.
Avocado Oils from
From Mexico, we have pure avocado oil, touted as one of the
healthiest oils to cook and eat with. Avocado oil has over 74% monounsaturated fats
with the lowest saturated fat content of any oil. With a high smoke point of
274 degrees C, it’s even suitable for deep-frying (something olive oil can
never do). The taste is also very neutral, light and buttery, so it can be used
for many aspects of cooking, baking or garnishing. Since it is rich in vitamin
E, some use it to rejuvenate dry skin. Acado is already available in
supermarkets here (ranging from S$16.95 for 250ml to S$30 for 1L).
Matcha Nama Chocolate
from Grand Place
Blink and you might miss the little tray of “nama choco” in
the Grand Place chilled display case. The Japanese owner just quipped, “Better
than Royce!” and he was right. It was so smooth, silky and creamy with the
perfect complementary balance of matcha and chocolate. Grand Place, named after
the famous square in Brussels, uses Belgian milk chocolate and Hokkaido cream.
They aren’t in Singapore yet, but do have a shop in KL International Airport,
Malaysia and Shiodome, Japan.